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Need help with dying tomatoes - yellow leaves & stems - turning my hands yellow

Hello, I've looked on the internet, in pest/disease books, and in a tomato growing book, but I still don't see any description which matches what's happening to my tomatoes.

The leaves and stems are turning yellow and dying one by one. I have been pulling them off and trying to look closely at them. There are no brown or black mottling, and no differentiation between the leaf and the veins, and no purple areas of any kind. There may sometimes be some very tiny black specs on the top of the leaves. If left on the plant, the leaves turn brown and dry out.

The leaves and branches are drooping in general, but there is not a lot of leaf curl until they turn brown and die, and then the curl it toward the top of the leaf.

I do have some adorable little lime-green grasshoppers eating the leaves, but they make big holes on the green leaves, and the leaves that are dying are completely intact.

I also have some aphids, which I have started spraying with neem (they seem as if they couldn't care less, however) and the aphids seem attracted to the stem just above the blossom more than the leaves themselves.

Strangest of all, after I come in from snapping the dead leaves off the plants, when I wash my hands, the soapy water comes off bright yellow.

Does this ring a bell for anyone?

P.S. I did a soil test and it seems the Ph is around 7, the nitrogen is MED, the phosphorus is MED or HIGH, and the potassium is HIGH.

I think I was overwatering until about a week ago when I got one of those tong-like moisture meters, and now that I know that the lower soil is still moist when the top half is dry, I have reduced the soakings and have just been topping up the soil on the top with water if the plants start to droop.

And finally, these are in plastic containers on my patio.
 
---------- Kiran
Handling tomatoes will cause staining of your hands, that is normal.
I woulde look very closely at the soil since it sounds a lot like there is too much water in the soil and not enough air and the roots cannot breath or uptake necessary nutrients.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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If it is soggy soil, is there still time for me to do anything about it? I was wondering if drilling a series of holes in the lower sides of the plastic pots would make the soil dry out more evenly. Does this sound like a good idea? I was getting tomatoes every other day for weeks before this happened, and I don't want the tomatoes to stop! Any suggestions welcome!
 
---------- Kiran
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Kiran, what is your weather like? I plant spring tomatoes in March and by this time of year they are pretty much done for. I just take some cuttings from the established plants (before they go all raggedy looking) and root them in a combination compost/soiless mix. After about 2 weeks, I plant them in the garden and will get tomatoes until it gets too cool. Just wondering if you're not experiencing something similar?
 

~~~To plant is to believe in tomorrow~~~

Mobile, Alabama   Zone 8b

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